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Nigeria on the precipice – Part 2

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Continued from yesterday

Nigeria is so rich yet, the peoples are so poor. This must be tackled for restiveness to be controlled. Poverty breeds anger and frustration in every human. The poor handling of the economy is the cause of hunger in the land. Nigerians have no need to be associated with hunger, not with the mass arable land in all the regions. Nigeria is not a producing country, we are not growing the economy either. The rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer and, this is counterproductive to the peace and progress needed. Agriculture in Nigeria is not well managed. The states can do better in the management of agriculture than the central government. Something drastic needs to be done for the country to be economically self-reliant. The population of Nigeria is presented according to reports about 206 million people, still growing. The country needs food production that can match the fast-growing population.

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Nigeria’s educational standard has fallen. A country with a poor educational system is already setting a faulty foundation upon which all other sectors can be built. It is not building more institutions that are the solution rather, the government of the federation must begin to reorganize the system to fit the emerging time we are in. The youths of today must be trained in both academic and vocational skills to help in the reduction of unemployment. The current system where students of our tertiary institutions are mostly trained in academics without skills on the other hand holds an unsecured future.

Oil and natural gases are the lifeblood of Nigeria’s economy and a greater source of wealth for those in power. But its mismanagement and poor distribution of the gains have allowed the vast majority to continue to languish in abject poverty. There must be complete overhauling of this sector to benefit the host communities and judiciously use the oil wealth to develop the country and not for the benefit of few individuals. It is justice that guarantees peace. As long as justice is denied, citizens will always revolt. Like Ike Okonta observed in his most recent book, Nigeria and The Challenge of Federalism; ‘The ordinary people are still as poor and deprived as before, lacking basic social amenities such as roads, hospitals, and schools. The oil companies continue to produce oil recklessly, polluting farmlands and fishing waters. The governors of the Delta states have been unable to account for how they have spent the 13 percent derivation since 1999. A proper federal arrangement with the constituent states generating and keeping a fair portion of their resources including oil would have empowered ordinary citizens of these states to demand accountability from their state governors, but this is not the case in present Nigeria where an all-powerful government in the centre decides how much to allocate to the oil-producing states…’No matter the brute force that is used to subjugate the people, peace will always evade the communities until the right thing is done. The Nigerian government must do all within its power to ensure the just distribution of the oil wealth.

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The Federal Character principle should be religiously followed. Nigeria is heterogeneous in nature and the need for even representation at the centre is crucial. Those who thought it wise to establish such and ensure it is included in our constitution did not make mistakes. Since 1999, this is the only administration that has vagrantly abused that principle. And, every complaint against such practice has not attracted any regrets from the government. For instance, no senior officer of the Southeast region is heading any of the topmost security outfits (Defence, Army, Navy, Air force, DSS, and Police) or the para-military in the country. This gives voice to the secessionist agitators who perceive such as deliberate annihilation of their people from the central government. This is not encouraging for a country that craves unity.

Concluded.
 
Nwaogbe can be reached on 07084381845.

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